Yet another look at KotSF/4th Ed.

Andor

First Post
Boarstorm said:
I've always been mystified by the assertion that certain systems support "roleplay" or "storytelling" more than others.

In my experience skill systems and social interaction rules were always more of an appendage to the actual roleplay, occassionally useful for when you were winging it, but hardly necessary on a regular basis.

My experiences may not be typical, but they leave me in a position that I don't have a lot of context to evaluate assertions such as this.

In my experience a system supports roleplaying to the same degree it supports immersion in character. Systems which give you an excellent view of life through the eyes of your character encourage roleplaying, whereas systems that jostle you out of character to deal with metagame concerns or gamist artifacts detract from it.
 

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The Eternal GM

First Post
Andor said:
In my experience a system supports roleplaying to the same degree it supports immersion in character. Systems which give you an excellent view of life through the eyes of your character encourage roleplaying, whereas systems that jostle you out of character to deal with metagame concerns or gamist artifacts detract from it.

Thank you Andor, that's pretty much the issue I have (with D&D 4 as well as some other systems). I don't go for rules-light games, I like a good foundation of what works and how, but I find that 3.5 and 4 just try to do too much of it. And somewhere along the way it all becomes about the game and not about the adventure.
 

Nightchill

Explorer
The Eternal GM said:
And utterly from a DM point of view, I won't use minions. They suffer from my biggest problem of 3.5/4 which is that whole "make the players feel big, clever, special every second even if they do nothing to warrant it" in this case, by creating a worthless line of foes for them to murder with uberpowers. Not my thing.
Well, that's easy enough to do with the encounter construction in 4e (4 minions = 1 normal mob) but still, I gather Minions can be scary.

How about making an encounter that only uses them? Would it change your mind about them being there to make the players feel powerful if your players fled from a fight with just Minions? ;)
 

Andur

First Post
From my experience roleplay is purely supported by the players, not the system. I've seen more roleplay at a Hackmaster table than I have at a LARP...

As far as Eternal GM's reasons for not liking minions, different strokes for different folks, I believe that if the PC's were just your average joe, well than why isn't the vllage of 50 average joe's already wiping the area out of its badness? I've done the "playing through your roots" where you start off as a 13 year old human and defeat a wolf with a pitchfork, then join the militia and fight off some goblin raiders, get some more formal training and ten wallah your area 1st level fighter, but it didn't really add anything to the actual game, just spent more time getting to where the players could be with a decent background story. I want the PC's to be not just heroes, but cinematic heroes, where they CAN drop the sentry in one hit, not "OK, you've passed your hide in shadows, balance, move silent checks, you are behind the sentry, he does not seem to be aware of you, roll your attack, great, you hit, damage, 6? wtf? you roll all one's on a sneak attack, the mook only had 8 hit points, roll for initiative, another one? well he goes first, he sounds the alarm, 10 mounted dragon riders take off from yonder tower..." The example may be slightly extreme, but its variants happen more often than not, unless the rules are thrown out for story...
 

ShinRyuuBR

First Post
#2 - The wizard still has a crossbow. It's a crossbow called magic missile now. But it's still a piss-poor ranged attack and very sad.

Well, that WAS the intention: trade the crossbow for some simple, flavorful spell.

#14 - The wizard is still a total wimp if more than one minion gets near him. The pre-gen should have had an area effect blast for such occasions, not three nigh-identical rays.

Uh... It has two! A 3x3 square at range 10 (scorching burst) and a 5x5 square adjacent to you (burning hands). What more do you need? You sure you understand how an area burst 1 works?
 

timbannock

Adventurer
The Eternal GM said:
As for 4th Ed. denying role-playing. Essentially all combat encounters are set to be a skirmish of around the parties level, with some variance up and down. This doesn't work for me. I don't want skirmishes all the time. I want to be able to run combat my own way, with stealthy foes or with hordes or whatever else. But as soon as 4th Ed. combat starts, the PCs are brimming with death-deal and it is harder than ever before to catch them unaware, or even to give them preparation advantage. Ultimately, I'm not going to find it easy to use my preferred narrative approach to action scenes. This, I feel, limits the role-playing by making every single fight a prolonged tactical encounter.

Curious: what caused stealth to go out the window? What made PCs more "alert" to enemy presence?

And preparation...I'm not sure I know what you mean there either. IMCs, it seemed that PCs prepped based on the in-game knowledge their characters had, not some defined niggly bit of the rules.
 

The Eternal GM said:
Yes, we did only rest once every 24 hours. Yes, there still seems no reason not to do that unless every adventure is going to be time limited.

My players do that, and the monsters are going to regroup/get reinforcements.

That area you cleared yesterday? Guess what?
 

ShinRyuuBR said:
You sure you understand how an area burst 1 works?

Lots of people are misunderstanding how Burst works.

For the record: Burst N covers a square area (2N+1) squares per side, for a total of (2N+1)^2 squares.

Burst 1 = 3x3 = 9
Burst 2 = 5x5 = 25
Burst 3 = 7x7 = 49

etc
 

Simplicity

Explorer
The fighter gets free attacks against those he marks. The paladin does not. You have to use the marks differently.

Also, I find it hard to take storyline complaints seriously from someone running a party with Arthur Dent and Hank the Smasher. It sounds like you and your players are playing different games...

Finally, I also can't believe they named the bad guy Karalel. The first thing I thought was "Superman?"
 

Dragonblade

Adventurer
Sitara said:
KoTS would have to go a long way to overtake the Sunless Citadel in terms of adventure quality. While physically KoTS is superior, in terms of actual game quality from what I hear it does not yet beat SC.

Really? I thought Sunless Citadel was awful. And Forge of Fury even worse (and far deadlier). I have run Forge of Fury three times back in the day and each time it resulted in a TPK. Once from the Roper, and twice from Nightscale.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
Three thoughts occur to me:

1) The fighter's marking and "suckage" -- Were you giving the fighters the free attack when the enemy went wandering off after the squishier PCs? Every time the enemy wanders off, the fighter gets one, mark or not, and it's nto as easy to avoid as op-attacks were. That's pretty strong incentive not to wander away from a fighter more than once.


2) Minion problems -- that's by design, and really works for me. In fact, if you ever mixed monsters with and without class levels in 3e, it worked this way, except that the unleveled creatures were often not a threat. At least this way, there is a reason for minions to be on the field. I love the change to this part of the rules myself.


3) As for the Daily resting, It's bittersweet. We changed off of Vancian casting to get a system that still encourages the same thing. :) However, I'm willing to bet that in practice, most groups won't go resting every single time they so much as use a daily ability - that would be like filling up your gas tank every time before you leave home or work for a 5 mile drive.
 

legiondevil

First Post
Henry said:
Three thoughts occur to me:

1) The fighter's marking and "suckage" -- Were you giving the fighters the free attack when the enemy went wandering off after the squishier PCs? Every time the enemy wanders off, the fighter gets one, mark or not, and it's nto as easy to avoid as op-attacks were. That's pretty strong incentive not to wander away from a fighter more than once.

Actually, it's been said that the free attack only applies to the Marked enemy. I think it's in the FAQ, at this point.
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
The Eternal GM said:
Ultimately, I'm not going to find it easy to use my preferred narrative approach to action scenes. This, I feel, limits the role-playing by making every single fight a prolonged tactical encounter.

What is your preferred narrative approach to action scenes?

I'd suggest that, in order to make "story", you ask each player: "What does your PC want?" Then make the action scenes lead towards resolution of that goal - either push him further away from that goal (failure), or bring him closer to it (success).

That way you can hang dramatic weight on the tactical encounter.
 

JohnBiles

First Post
Henry said:
3) As for the Daily resting, It's bittersweet. We changed off of Vancian casting to get a system that still encourages the same thing. :) However, I'm willing to bet that in practice, most groups won't go resting every single time they so much as use a daily ability - that would be like filling up your gas tank every time before you leave home or work for a 5 mile drive.

Given you can only rest 1/24 hours to get back dailys, there are plenty of ways to discourage people from trying to take an extended rest after every encounter.
 

The Eternal GM

First Post
ShinRyuuBR said:
Well, that WAS the intention: trade the crossbow for some simple, flavorful spell.



Uh... It has two! A 3x3 square at range 10 (scorching burst) and a 5x5 square adjacent to you (burning hands). What more do you need? You sure you understand how an area burst 1 works?

Meh, may as well just have a crossbow then. 'Magic Missile' isn't exactly a flavourful alternative to me.

Burning Hands is a one off each fight (damn good one mind you!) and scorching burst isn't reliable enough to protect the wizard all the time. We only had four of five characters in play, meaning the wizard faced melee quite a bit in the bigger fights.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
legiondevil said:
Actually, it's been said that the free attack only applies to the Marked enemy. I think it's in the FAQ, at this point.

Yeah, the FAQ mentions that the benefits of the Fighter's Combat Challenge ability only apply to marked targets. Regardless, I can't imagine why the fighter wasn't sticky vs his mark. The fighter gains a free attack against the mark almost no matter what and he hits fairly hard (2d6+3= 10 avg). Was the fighter just rolling terribly?
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
The Eternal GM said:
Meh, may as well just have a crossbow then. 'Magic Missile' isn't exactly a flavourful alternative to me.

Burning Hands is a one off each fight (damn good one mind you!) and scorching burst isn't reliable enough to protect the wizard all the time. We only had four of five characters in play, meaning the wizard faced melee quite a bit in the bigger fights.

When playing a wizard I'd rather have a magic missile that works like a crossbow than a crossbow, IMO. Aside from stylistic reasons, magic missile will scale with your implements (there's a wand +1 in KotS if I remember correctly), whereas a crossbow needs to be upgraded seperately.

Did your DM scale the encounters down to account for the fact that you had one less player than was intended (I think this would be accomplished by removing 100 xp worth of enemies at level 1, 125 xp at level 2 and 150 xp at level 3)? If not, the adventure would have been a bit more difficult than it was intended to be.
 

The Eternal GM

First Post
Fanaelialae said:
When playing a wizard I'd rather have a magic missile that works like a crossbow than a crossbow, IMO. Aside from stylistic reasons, magic missile will scale with your implements (there's a wand +1 in KotS if I remember correctly), whereas a crossbow needs to be upgraded seperately.

Did your DM scale the encounters down to account for the fact that you had one less player than was intended (I think this would be accomplished by removing 100 xp worth enemies at level 1, 125 xp at level 2 and 150 xp at level 3)? If not, the adventure would have been a bit more difficult than they were intended to be.

No idea about the DM's scaling of the encounters to be honest. Seemed okay generally, barring a certain goblin...

I maintain, magic missile ought to be magic missile... Auto-hitting and all! not grognardy or anything, just preference. Plus I don't have a problem with magic-users relying on mundane staffs, bows and so on as well as magic.
 

hong

WotC's bitch
The Eternal GM said:
I maintain, magic missile ought to be magic missile... Auto-hitting and all! not grognardy or anything, just preference. Plus I don't have a problem with magic-users relying on mundane staffs, bows and so on as well as magic.

Your preferences are very grognardy.
 

Zil

Explorer
Dragonblade said:
Really? I thought Sunless Citadel was awful. And Forge of Fury even worse (and far deadlier). I have run Forge of Fury three times back in the day and each time it resulted in a TPK. Once from the Roper, and twice from Nightscale.
I only experienced both of those adventures from the player side, and I would have to agree with you that Forge of Fury was pretty bad - we never finished it and this effectively ended that campaign. However, we did really enjoy the Sunless Citadel. I rather liked the twig blights and the corrupted druid and tree. I was playing a druid at the time and for a bit there, I was tempted to side with the tree and become the new caretaker. No comments on KoTS - still haven't seen it.
 

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